By Jordan Corona
Wasting less by feeding more is the name of the game for the folks at Baylor’s Campus Kitchen.
Tuesday afternoon, members of Campus Kitchen met at the Mary Gibbs Jones Family and Consumer Sciences Building to begin the first daily food collection of the semester. Memorial, Penland and Collins dining halls kept leftover food hot for the pickup after 3:30 p.m.
Campus Kitchens is a national service organization that helps students relieve hunger in their communities by working through universities and high schools.
Baylor’s chapter started in 2008 and is the only university-affiliated chapter in Texas.
Jenni Moore, coordinator of the campus food project, said the organization uses recovery donations, produce from the campus community garden and provisions from the Capital Area Food Bank in Austin.
These are used to prepare meals for people at the Family Abuse Center in Waco, Mission Waco and elementary through high school-aged children at St. Luke African Methodist Episcopal Church.
“It started as picking up food from the dining halls and donating it to the Salvation Army,” Moore said. “Students had the desire to prepare the meal. It’s a way to use their skills and knowledge to help the community.”
Volunteers may help with food recovery, chopping or boiling vegetables at a kitchen in the Mary Gibbs Family and Consumer Sciences Building or helping in the community garden at Ninth and James streets.
Moore said consistent volunteers for pickup and delivery are essential.
Canton senior Abigail Brantley, a nutrition major, is heading up kitchen management this year. She said volunteers in the kitchen should be interested in nutrition and helping people, and that previous experience with food service is helpful.
Kathy Reid, executive director at the Family Abuse Center in Waco, said in the face of recent funding cuts, food is a great donation for the center, which houses women and children who have been domestically abused.
Specifically, it helps connect them with social, legal or practical resources they might need.
In a year’s time, the abuse center faculty comes in contact with approximately 600 people.
Reid said many of the women she works with are tied to abusive relationships for economic reasons.
“I can’t say enough nice things about the Campus Kitchen,” she said expressing gratitude for Baylor students who twice weekly, help feed those individuals.
Moore said the Campus Kitchen hopes to grow its community partnerships to H-E-B, Sam’s Club and even local restaurants.
“They work hard to make things our clients will like and things that are good for them,” said Reid.
People interested in volunteering can contact Plano sophomore Abby Miller, the Campus Kitchen volunteer coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.